Best 80s Movies All Time

Best 80s movies all time is a list that if you grew up in that era, you would appreciate.  This decade contributed to some of the most famous music of all time, but it is also responsible for some pretty amazing movies.

 

best 80s movies all time
*This post may have affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. Please see my disclosure.

 

We cannot talk about famous movies without talking about the movies from the 80s.  Just think about what movies you remember from back then; I guarantee they are still some of your very favorites.

They had the brat pack, the Romcom’s, classic horror movies, musicals and of course all the action movies you could handle.  Well let’s take a look at some of the best 80s movies all time.

Brat pack

I am sure that you have heard of the movies that were done by the group of actors dubbed the “BRATPACK”.    This fantastic group of movies are still some of the most memorable movies of that decade.  Not only did it have some of the best movies, but it is also responsible for the beginning of many famous movie actors’ careers.  In fact, without these movies, some of our most famous movie actors of today, wouldn’t exist.

 

best 80s movies all time - brat pack

 

First off, what is does the name brat pack stand for.  Well in the 80s, that was a nickname given to actors that frequently worked together in different movies.  They were teenage coming of age movies that garnered a huge following of fans.  To date, some of these actors, are considered to be some of the best young actors of a generation.

Some of the most famous brat pack movies of the 80s are:

  • St. Elmo’s Fire
  • Breakfast Club
  • Sixteen Candles
  • Pretty in Pink
  • The Outsiders
  • Young Guns
  • Weird Science

As an example of how much these movies impacted the movie industry, in 2012 Entertainment Weekly dubbed the movie “The Breakfast Club” one of the best high school movies ever made.

VH1’s list of top 100 of the greatest teen actors of all time had Molly Ringwald ranked as #1.  Rob Lowe was ranked #2 on that list.   This just shows that the movies were amazing, but so were the actors playing those roles.

 

Best 80s movies all time - sixteen candles

For me, one of my favorite brat pack movies that I still love to watch is Sixteen Candles.  It has everything in it from, humor, romance, and of course tons of teenage shenanigans.  The movie is full of awesome music, great character acting by the great Molly Ringwald and so much more.  Let’s also not forget the ending of the movie, it is just the happy ending that you wanted for Samantha aka (Molly).  Truly a movie that every teenage should watch.

Check out a snippet of this cool movie.

Shop Jane

Action

Next up is Action movies of the 80s.  This category has some of the most iconic action movies of all time.  They may have been released in the 80s, but they still today are some of the best action movies of any generation.  A movie that can stand the test of decades after decades is all the proof that these movies are amazing and deserve to be on this list.

For me this list represents some of the biggest action movie stars ever to make action movies.

Here are some favorite action movies of the 80s:

  • Die Hard
  • Top Gun
  • Lethal Weapon
  • The Terminator
  • Indiana Jones – Raiders of The Lost Ark
  • Rocky II, III, IV
  • Mad Max – The Road Warrior
  • First Blood
  • Conan The Barbarian
  • Black Rain

When it comes to action hero’s, these movies have provided us some of the best action actors.   Just look at that list and think  Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Michael Douglas and so many more.  All of these actors are still acting today and are still making an impact on the movie industry.

best 80s movies all time - indiana jones

 

One of my favorite action movies is definitely Die Hard.  This movie just never gets old, truly I can watch it over and over.  Somehow it is always exciting to watch.   Although highly debated as a Xmas movie, Die Hard with Bruce Willis’s character resonates and shines through as one of the best action movies of any decade.  Even so much that we have multiple sequels in the next decade of the 90s to continue our love of this movie character.

Check out a glimpse of this action filled movie.

Sci-Fi

When it comes to the Sci-Fi category of awesome 80s movies, this category is unbelievably good.  Some of the greatest Sci-Fi movies ever made were made in this decade.  They are so good in fact that a new Sci-Fi movie today is always compared to the movies of the 80s.

Here is my list of favorite Sci-Fi movies:

  • Blade Runner
  • E. T.
  • Back to The Future
  • Aliens
  • Flash Gordon
  • Star Wars – Empire Strikes Back and Return of The Jedi
  • Star Trek – The Wrath of Kahn
  • The Last Starfighter
  • Starman
  • Robocop
  • Predator

There was a bit of everything on this list.  Some jump ahead to the future, while some fly into space literally.  Whatever type of Sci-Fi movie you are looking for, this decade had it and then some.  Many of these movies even went on to sequels, and some even had trilogies.  While others had just one shot at success and boy did, they deliver.

best 80s movies all time - aliens

How about E.T?  One movie was all that was needed there.  Still a movie that stands up as one of the greatest movies of all time.

best 80s movies all time - E.T.

A movie like Blade Runner that basically changed the way we thought about the future.  This movie has always thought to be a movie that was far ahead of its time in so many ways.  It was unlike any movie we had ever seen before.  The following of this movie was so huge it was basically a cultural phenomenon.  It was like once you saw this movie, you never looked at the world the same again.

On top of its cinematic impact, it also helped make Harrison Ford, a household name and well sought-after actor.  He could pretty much do it anything after that movie.

The Sci-Fi movie that stood out for me was of course Aliens, which was actually the sequel to the first Alien movie that was released in 1979.  Sigourney Weaver became a huge success and truly has been defined by her portrayal of Ellen Ripley.  This movie just has it all.  We had never seen an alien creature movie in space before, not like this one.

Take a peek at this terrifying Sci-Fi movie

Horror

Horror movies have been around for years and years, yet somehow the 80s managed to make a dramatic impact in this genre of movies.  So many of these movies are still considered to be the most scary horror movies of all time.

The list of horror movies, is one of the longest lists in my post, simply because there was just that many that made an impact on my young life.  You can’t think of a good horror movies without picking a movie from the 80s.  From a good slasher movie to a creepy man that turned into a fly.   The 80s had it all.

Here is the list of some of my favorite 80s horror movies:

  • Halloween II
  • Hellraiser
  • The Thing
  • Friday The 13th – I, II, III, IV
  • Firestarter
  • The Dead Zone
  • The Fly
  • The Shining
  • The Lost Boys
  • Christine
  • Poltergeist
  • Gremlins
  • Children Of The Corn
  • Nightmare On Elm Street
  • Jaws
  • Ghostbusters
  • Pet Sematary

All of these movies pushed the boundaries of scary movies to a whole new level.  Did you know that in the late 2000s the 80s horror movies continued to grow to a new fan base?  A new group of kids started finding these movies and managed to make them popular all over again.

This just goes to show that these movies continue to make an impact on movie fans of all decades.

Dubbed to this day as “the best decade of horror movies ever”!

Best 80s movies all time - friday the 13th

As I look at that list of amazing horror movies, I struggle to pick just one favorite.  “The Lost Boys” though does seem to stand out for me.   I have seen that movie so many times that I can’t even count.  There was just something about the vampire storyline, the music, the eerie feel the movie gave us.  It even had humor and thrill all rolled into one.  Along with a teenage love story with a happy ending.  Really a different kind of horror movie.  To this day, this movie remains one movie that everyone you talk to has seen at some point in their life.

Check out on of the scariest movies of the 80s with a sneak peek.

Rom com

I can’t talk about great 80s movies, without talking about the Rom com category. This genre of movies had some pretty iconic romance comedy movies ever.  Back in the 80s, besides the Brat pack movies, this genre opened up our world to fantasy, big dreams, dancing and a touch of Australia LOL!

Here is a look at some of my favorite Romantic comedy movies of the 80s:

  • Valley Girl
  • When Harry Met Sally
  • Big
  • Cocktail
  • Overboard
  • Princess Bride
  • Mystic Pizza
  • Crocodile Dundee
  • Some Kind of Wonderful
  • Dirty Dancing
  • Splash
  • Working Girl

Romantic comedies of the 80s gave us a few movies that are still considered to be a part of the greatest movies of all time.  All you need to do is think of “Dirty Dancing” or “When Harry Met Sally”.   Both of these movies are movies that people remember fondly.  Almost like when you say “I remember where I was the first time I saw that movie” good.  Movies that don’t get old, that you can watch over and over and be brought right back to that very first memory.   Much like music, good movies can take us back in time to our past.

best 80s movies all time - valley girl

From that list, I can honestly and quite quickly say that my favorite is definitely “Some Kind of Wonderful”.  That movie had it all, Mary Stuart Masterson was so darn COOL!   We really hadn’t seen a girl that looked like she did in a movie.  It was really the first time that we saw a Tomboy girl as a lead character.  For me, I instantly fell in love.

I can’t talk about this movie with out of course talking about the amazing soundtrack of that movie.  Much like the awesome soundtrack from the movie “Valley Girl”, that rocked our world.   Some Kind of Wonderful taught us that we need to follow our dreams, no matter what our parents think we should do with our lives.  Be honest and true with your heart.  Just an awesome overall message.

I think that it what makes romantic comedies of the 80s so timeless.  It’s their ability to remind us that we need to continue to be true to ourselves no matter what.

Here is glimpse into one of favorite movies.

 

Musicals

In the Musical category of the 80s, you will find some of the most remarkable musicals of all time.  These movies may not have all been blockbuster hits, but they were movies unlike any musicals we had seen before.

Yes, some of them were movies that truly pushed the musical genre to a whole new level.  They offered us a look inside at kids attending music schools, futuristic roller-skating dancing with Gene Kelly and Olivia Newton John to a women dressing up like a man in both Yentl and Victor Victoria.

Here is some of my favorite 80s musicals: 

  • The Pirate Movie
  • Grease 2
  • Fame
  • Xanadu
  • La Bamba
  • The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
  • Staying Alive
  • Yentl
  • Victor Victoria
  • Annie

Great musical fills us with joy, happiness and always a love of amazing music that stays with us forever.  Just think of the music from “Staying Alive”, the Bee Gees are a staple in musical history from the music from that movie.

I talked about how some of the movies on this list may not be the biggest box office musical movies of all time.  What we do know is that sometimes box office success is not measured only for the amount of money they make.  Many movies become cult favorites and odd little movies that made an impact on us in our life.

 

best 80s movies all time - grease 2

For me off that list, I will have to give a tie to “Grease 2” and “The Pirate Movie” as my 2-favorite musical of the 80s.  I know you are probably thinking but why these 2.  Again, not big at the box office, but the fabulous music of the movies, combined with the unique fun characters and story lines just hit home for me.  Who did not want to see Kristy McNichol sing with Christopher Atkins?  I DID!

Check out a bit of one of these movies below.

Others

When I think about the best 80s movies all time, I can’t not finish without mentioning a few of my other favorites.  Some of the movies on this would be considered more obscure, while some are and were pretty popular.

  • Happy Birthday to Me
  • Prom Night
  • My Bloody Valentine
  • House on Sorority Row
  • Creepshow
  • The Fog
  • The Entity
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • The Goonies
  • The Howling

best 80s movies all time - happy birthday to me

NO matter what category these movies fit into, they are movies that I think about when I look back at my movie obsession as a teenager.  Remember the 80s era was also the era of the VHS movie rental phenomenon.   We finally had the ability to put a tape in the VCR and watch a movie over and over again.

best 80s movies all time - VHS

I know to you older folks, you may think UGH the VHS era, but for us growing up in that era, it was a game changer.  I think that without it, I would not be the movie lover that I am today.   I love movies and I love the movies that we were lucky enough to have in our young lives.  Truly some of the best.

Go shopping now to get some of your classics.

Shop the Turner Classic Movie Store NOW!
 

best 80s movies all time - the end

2 thoughts on “Best 80s Movies All Time”

  1. I was not born in the eighties but unused to hear that but was a time of revolution in the Hollywood industries. A time when cartoons became a lot more redefined and movies had a more romantic plot too. Learning about the different movies and also the way you categorized them into different genres is just so awesome. I’m so happy to learn this and my thanks are in order.

    Reply
    • Hi Suz,

      That is the wonderful thing about all these movies I have covered in this post. No matter whether you grew up in the 80’s or not, these movies are still super popular and fun to watch.

      They still resonate with people of any age and genre.  I think that is what I love about movies, is that they can last decades.  People like myself love to go back and re-watch these movies over and over.  They just never get old.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on my post.

      Cory

      Reply

Leave a Comment

RSS